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The Ultimate Guide to Calming Dog Chews: Do They Really Work?

The Ultimate Guide to Calming Dog Chews: Do They Really Work?

Ever notice your dog cowering during a thunderstorm, pacing nervously when you leave the house, or barking excessively at unfamiliar faces? Just like humans, dogs experience anxiety, and while a little bit of stress is normal, excessive anxiety can turn into a major issue, affecting your pet's behavior, health, and overall well-being (Di Cerbo et al., 2017). Imagine being able to naturally soothe your dog’s worries, helping them live a more comfortable and confident life.

This is where natural lifestyle tips and nutritional support, including calming dog chews, come into play. But do they really work? In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the effectiveness of calming treats, when they work and when they don’t. We’ll examine both the mental and physical effects behind them and real-world experiences to help you decide if they're the right solution for your anxious furry friend.

do dog calming treats work for dogs

What are Typical Causes?

Before we can assess what will work to comfort our nervous pups, let's look at the causes of our friends' anxieties.

Fear-Based Anxiety

Loud noises like thunder and fireworks, new environments, strange animals or people, and car rides can all cause adverse reactions in anxious dogs. Prescription drugs are often prescribed for these situations because they offer immediate and reliable effects (Pike et al., 2015). While this may be a good solution for infrequent occurrences, it’s not a long-term solution. These drugs can have undesirable side effects both during and after use (DeNapoli et al., 2000). For this reason, many dog owners turn to natural, cumulative remedies found in nutritional calming treats to help soothe their pets during these stressful events.

Aging and Cognitive Decline

In older dogs, there can be a decline in cognitive function, which can affect their overall perception and awareness, causing confusion and leading to anxiety in situations that were not an issue previously. Calming aids, such as natural treats, can be a useful nutritional supplement (Ruiz-Cano et al., 2022).

Separation Anxiety

It is estimated that separation anxiety affects around 14 percent of dogs. Dogs with separation anxiety find it very unpleasant when they are left alone or separated from their family members (Di Cerbo et al., 2017). This may be caused by events that were triggered in their puppy stage, or genetics. In this scenario, you will likely need to incorporate more than a calming treat into your dog’s regimen.

help dogs with anxiety

Signs of Anxiety

  • Urinating or defecating in the house
  • Blood in the urine absent of infection
  • Destructive behavior
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Pacing
  • Panting
  • Drooling
  • Excessive barking
  • Repetitive or compulsive behaviors
  • Aggression

Dogs can be very expressive, so observing their body language can go a long way in recognizing the presence of anxiety. Urination in the house and destructive behavior are often signs of separation anxiety. Panting, pacing, and drooling in the absence of a fear-related trigger could be signs of chronic anxiety. Dogs with chronic anxiety may suffer from depression, which can cause them to sleep more and lose interest in food, play, and social interaction (Hattesohl et al., 2008). Fear-related anxiety, on the other hand, can lead to irritable or aggressive behavior (excessive barking or growling). Alternatively, they can cower, with a tucked tail, low body carriage, and hesitant or avoidant manner.

Prevention Tips

If your dog is prone to anxiety and sensitive to stressors, we believe that supporting good health comes first. "Good food = good mood." Wellness in the body often translates to wellness of the mind. Supporting our pet's digestive health and incorporating ingredients that promote a calmness are key factors promoting comfortable moods in dogs.

Additionally, here are some good lifestyle tips to help keep them feeling calm and comfortable.

  • Consistency and predictability in a dog’s routine
  • Regular exercise
  • Mental stimulation
  • Maintain balanced levels of attention and social interaction between both humans and other animals
  • Positive reinforcement rather than negative punishment training to open communication between owner and dog

calm dog

Calming an Anxious Dog

Lifestyle Strategies for Separation Anxiety

  • Leave a special treat or a chew toy to keep them busy while you are gone.
  • Maintain a low-key interaction when leaving or returning home to reduce significance.
  • Leave recently worn clothes near your dog that have your scent on them.
  • Provide calming supplements periodically to naturally comfort the nervous system.

Approaches for Fear-Based Anxiety

  • Create a safe space for the dog to minimize the effects of loud noises.
  • Provide structure and routine, along with a strategy to identify triggers and avoid those situations.
  • Gradually expose your dog to their fears with positive reinforcement/reward for good behavior. Calming treats for dogs can also be beneficial in these scenarios (Pike et al., 2015).

natural calming treats for dogs

Coping with Age-Related Anxiety

For cognitive decline, it is especially important to have a regular routine for your pet. Regular exercise and interaction can provide stimulation to stave off further decline.

Nutritional Support for Anxiety

In all cases of unresolved anxiety, or to prevent future anxiety, targeted nutritional support can be beneficial. In addition to a healthy diet, several herbs and amino acids have been shown to work on various anxiety symptoms, contributing to the calming effect in dogs:

  • Passion Flower: Prevents vital neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) from breaking down, increasing their levels in the body, resulting in improved mood and temperament (Hattesohl et al., 2008).
  • Safflower Oil: An excellent source of omega-6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) and vitamin E, which helps with brain function in dogs.
  • L-Tryptophan: Produces greater concentrations of serotonin, playing an essential role in the regulation of mood, anxiety, appetite, and sleep (DeNapoli et al., 2000).
  • Chamomile: Contains bioactive plant compounds that produce soothing properties to combat nervousness, restlessness, and hyperactive behavior.
  • L-Theanine: Reduces anxious behaviors during stressful events or triggers, promoting calmness and relaxed mood (Pike et al., 2015).
  • Valerian Root: Increases levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, supporting a calmer state during stressful situations (Sudati et al., 2009).
  • Melatonin: Acts as a mild sedative for use in situations of nervousness or phobia (Ruiz-Cano et al., 2022).

do calming treats work for dogs

Do Calming Chews Work for Dogs?

Natural calming supplements are designed to provide relief from anxiety and stress in dogs. These chews can be like treats and contain natural ingredients that help promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. They are easy to administer and can be a convenient way to support your dog's mental health and a good mood. The effectiveness of calming chews can be both immediate and cumulative, depending on the specific ingredients they contain and how they work within your dog's body.

Immediate Effects

Certain ingredients in calming dog chews can produce noticeable calming effects relatively quickly, often within 30-60 minutes after administration. These ingredients include:

  • Melatonin: Acts as a mild sedative and helps reduce anxiety and induce calmness quickly. It is particularly useful in acute situations like thunderstorms, fireworks, or vet visits (Ruiz-Cano et al., 2022).
  • L-Theanine: Known for its calming properties, it helps reduce anxious behaviors in stressful situations, such as car rides or meeting new people (Pike et al., 2015).
  • Chamomile: Contains soothing properties that may help calm a dog within a short period. It is effective for reducing nervousness, restlessness, and hyperactive behavior.

Cumulative Effects

Other ingredients in calming chews require consistent use over a longer period to build up in the system and achieve their full relaxing effect. These ingredients include:

  • L-Tryptophan: Works by increasing serotonin levels over time, which helps regulate mood, reduce anxiety, and promote a sense of well-being. Regular use is necessary to maintain steady serotonin levels and manage chronic anxiety (DeNapoli et al., 2000).
  • Valerian Root: Increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the brain, which supports a calmer state during stressful situations. Its effects become more pronounced with regular use (Sudati et al., 2009).
  • Passion Flower: Prevents the breakdown of neurotransmitters associated with mood regulation. Continued use helps maintain higher levels of these neurotransmitters, leading to improved mood and reduced anxiety (Hattesohl et al., 2008).

Calming dog chew natural ingredients

Combination Products

Many calming supplement treats contain a blend of ingredients designed to offer both immediate and cumulative benefits. This combination provides quick relief in acute situations while also supporting long-term anxiety management.

For example:

  • Immediate Relief: Ingredients like melatonin, L-theanine, and chamomile work quickly to calm your dog during high-stress moments.
  • Long-Term Support: Ingredients like L-tryptophan, valerian root, and passion flower build up in the system over time, providing ongoing support for chronic anxiety.

Introducing Qusera™

At Nusentia®, we aim to provide nutritional tools to address specific health conditions in pets, achieving optimal health and wellness. We have created Qusera™, a supplement to address anxiety in dogs, containing:

  • Passion Flower: Helps with mood elevation
  • Safflower Oil: Supports cognitive function
  • L-Tryptophan: Supports stress and aggression management, and may act as an anti-depressant
  • Chamomile: Supports nervous, restless, and hyperactive behavior
  • L-Theanine: Promotes calmness and relaxation
  • Valerian Root: Helps with external stress and mood
  • Melatonin: Supports restful sleep and mild sedation

If your dog is suffering from anxiety or needs calming nutritional support, give Qusera™ a try. We are confident it will help alleviate your pet’s discomfort. It's also in an easy and convenient chew form!

Qusera calming treats ingredients

FAQs About Dog Calming Treats

Q: How quickly do calming dog chews work?

A: Qusera™ calming chews begin to take effect within 30-60 minutes, but this can vary depending on the individual dog and the ingredients in the chews. Further, the natural ingredients carry cumulative benefits that can help with your buddy’s overall mood and demeanor.

Q: Can I give my dog calming chews every day?

A: Yes, Quseracalming dog chews are a treat you can give daily for comfort and calm mood.

Q: Are there any side effects of calming dog chews?

A: Qusera™ is a calming treat that should not be used in combination with other sedatives or anesthesia without veterinary advice. Some ingredients in Qusera™ calming chews can potentially cause side effects in certain dogs, particularly if used in excess or if the dog has specific sensitivities. These side effects are mild and include drowsiness and mild gastrointestinal upset.

Q: Does your calming chews contain hemp?

A: Qusera™ is a hemp-free treat, they offer a natural alternative for pet owners who prefer or require hemp-free products.

treats for calming dogs


I’m gonna say up front that for my high-energy pups, these chews haven't had an immediate calming effect at the recommended dosage for their size. But because this company actually reveals the ingredients used straight up in the listing (no squinting to read out-of-focus label pics and no endless searching required!) ... and because these ingredients are of a higher quality than many I've researched (no canola oil, no animal byproducts, no weird preservatives) ... I'm giving them 5 stars. Because I can feel good about what's in these made-in-the-US treats and my dogs love the taste, I think you'll like them for your fur kids, too.” —JB, May 7, 2024

dog calming


  • Di Cerbo, A., Sechi, S., Canello, S., Guidetti, G., Fiore, F., & Cocco, R. (2017). Behavioral Disturbances: An Innovative Approach to Monitor the Modulatory Effects of a Nutraceutical Diet. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE, (119), 54878.
  • DeNapoli, J. S. et al. (2000). Effect of dietary protein content and tryptophan supplementation on dominance aggression, territorial aggression, and hyperactivity in dogs. JAVMA, 217(4), 504-508.
  • Sudati JH, et al. (2009). In vitro Antioxidant Activity of Valeriana officinalis Against Different Neurotoxic Agents. Neurochem Res, 34, 1372-1379.
  • Hattesohl M, Feistel B, Sievers H, Lehnfeld R, Hegger M, Winterhoff H. (2008). Extracts of Valeriana officinalis L. s.l. show anxiolytic and antidepressant effects but neither sedative nor myorelaxant properties. Phytomedicine, 15, 2-15.
  • Pike, A.L., Horwitz, D.F., Lobprise, H. (2015). An open-label prospective study of the use of L-theanine (Anxitane) in storm-sensitive client-owned dogs. J. Vet. Behav. Clin. Appl. Res, 10, 324-331.
  • Ruiz-Cano, D., Sánchez-Carrasco, G., El-Mihyaoui, A., & Arnao, M. (2022). Essential Oils and Melatonin as Functional Ingredients in Dogs. Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(16), 2089.
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